End of year thoughts, Casey Ashley Fluke tactics, Can you reel ultra slow?

Last BB of the year! I think. Can’t help doin’ ’em but want to take some time to relax the brain, reflect and be grateful – for you and for bass feeshn. What would we do without bassin’? Fly-fish??


Thank you, Merry Christmas and if you don’t celebrate Christmas, Happy Hanukkah or Happy Holidays to you and your fam. Here’s mine – our Christmas card pic:

Do I look like the odd one outta that group or what? Also my son is making me look a lot less muscular than I do in real life …lol all good.


Special thanks to you if you will be serving our country or working in some capacity on Christmas and New Year’s. Much appreciated and please be safe!


Big thanks to all the great companies that help make doing the BB possible, and also all the rest of the companies in bassin’. We’re all family. Or maybe better than family in case your family is like my extended fam and there’s a little “tension,” if you know what I mean.


Love from me, here’s some stuff to wind up the year.

Today’s Top 5
10 end of year thoughts.
Hey thanks fellas! (heehee!) Disclaimin’s = these are:


– Just one knucklehead’s opinion and should be valued thataway.

– Anyone can throw stones – trying not to do that, just offerin’ my 2c for thinkin’ purposes.

– I love and respect all pros, no matter where they fish, and both big tourney organizations even though both have bad eggs…HAHAHA JK, gotcha blood movin’ peeps!

– No particular order even tho they’re numbered for ease of readin’.


1. Once and for all, Ott DeFoe is right: fishing in bare feet is the best. This makes Aaron Martens’ toe socks things almost the best -OR- as good as you can get in cooler weather.


2. Thankful for the pros and tourney organizations for making it happen this year – for that matter all tourney organizations and fishermen. I realize it “had to” happen biz/$-wise, but it sho-nuff wasn’t easy or without sketchiness. So thank you.


3. Kinda disappointed the Bass Pro Tour didn’t have more tourneys. Was shapin’ up to be a battle between Jacob “gimme mo’ screens” Wheeler and Jordan “I don’t know I just win I don’t know” Lee, and I’m sure some more guys, but it sorta fizzled. I get it but….


4. I ain’t the dumbest or smartest guy in the world, so I think I can say with confidence that the MLF still has too many terms and rules -OR- they haven’t ‘splained ’em well enough -OR- it’s not been around long enough to get soaked into some folks like me. Or maybe I actually am the dumbest dude….


5. The MLF tourney time-delay thing I understand because that’s how it started: made-for-TV tourneys happenin’ between the Elite tourneys, so they fished ’em and aired ’em whenever. But MLF has changed and media has changed: Live > TV. So to me it’s Knutz with a capital K to get excited about and understand a tourney that happened 5 months ago. Hopefully they’ll kill the time-delay deal.


6. Believe a while back Elite pros wanted the rules changed so Elite winners wouldn’t auto-qualify for the Classic but Opens champs would. The Elites wanted more Classic spots to come from the points. I get that, but this still mystifies me because a) I bet lots of Elite winners would double-qualify and b) isn’t it harder to win an Elite than an Open? So shouldn’t winning an Elite be more of a golden ticket than winning an Open?


I realize Open winners wanna go to the Classic too (shoot who doesn’t!), and the top guys in the Open points should qualify because the Opens are tough: It’s like only fishing against locals who’ve been practicing for 2 solid weeks and only eat nails and sawdust for breakfast under the glare of TD Chris Bowes who’s like a bear that just woke up after a 3-month nap and is real hungry. Or something like that.


7. Who else misses KVD in the Classic?


8. Hearing a bunch of talk in the biz about all these new Covid anglers so 2021 should be great, etc. I hope so. Just don’t know. Tough to base predictions on unusual events/years like 2020. Kinda like an NFL team owner giving a huge contract to a coach who’s had 1 good year – and then guess what, not so good years after that….


Will used boats start pouring into dealers halfway through next year like Christmas puppies? Hope not – unless you’re looking for a deal on a used rig lol – but let’s maybe wait and see what happens with all the new folks.


9. Really missing some people we lost this year, but for sure not as much as the Wood and Lindner extended families. Please pray for them.


10. Simply not enough bird photos in the photo galleries. Disgraceful. Fix it Bowman! (Joke is that they’re there at all! Why??)

Couple thoughts for next year.


Guess ’21 will be the year of the big 3 ‘lectronics all having Live sonar, which no secret is now a requirement for any pro or aspiring pro, or anyone else who wants to take money by ketchin’ feesh.


So will this mean that folks will now go to 1-brand boat systems? (Screens and troller.)


Maybe? I mean, isn’t it likely this is gonna be like iPhone vs Samsung, where they’re 90+% the same and maybe 10% different? Gotta think there’s a practical limit to how different they can be, and also limits on how we use ’em — I mean, we don’t need bells ‘n whistles we don’t really need.


Whatever the %s are, I wanna be in the Samsung camp because I hate the iPhone limiting me — if you’ve had both you know what I mean. Either way, an interesting year coming fo sho.


Trip Weldon


Is he officially scheduled to retire? I heard yes? Either way please keep praying for him and if he does retire, he deserves not just a send off but a:

Bless you Trip!
“I’m still lifting weights and fishing every day and talking stupid – I haven’t grown up yet.”
– HAHAHA! That’s 70-yr-old OG mullet man Tom Monsoor talkin’ in a Bassin’Fan post, and he’s still a hammer that still wins – with a swim-jig.
“The gift of a fishing rod is something long-term. Fishing really helps a child….”

Guy named George Bowers talkin’ – he started a local charity called Fishing for a Cause that gives away rods and fishing gear to kids undergoing medical stuff. More:


> “Fishing really helps a child and I’ve gotten numerous letters over the years from families expressing how much fun they had taking their child fishing with the rod we gave them. Fishing helps a child get their mind off the medical issues, and it tightens family bonds.”


I feel convicted by this – why can’t I do this? Why can’t we all do it?

Christmas = Jesus = hope = what we need man!
That’s right, gotta mention the Son of Man in this one – about to be His birthday, He is the hope of the World and man do we all need some hope. So:


If you don’t believe yet and are curious, here’s a little Word for ya:


To me this is what we are seeing happening right now – Romans 1:18-32 (if you don’t want to read the whole thing just read verses 28-32) and Galatians 5:19-24.


A real short summary of what Jesus for us did and why – 2 Corinthians 5:18-21 and Romans 5:6-11.


If you do believe, a few reminders:


Jesus is the Word and the light, and is the truth and life.


Be strong and courageous no matter what it looks like.


Know what you are really up against (not what you can see) so put on the whole armor of God and wield the sword of the Spirit.


Trust in the Lord. Have peace.


Btw, amazing story about this painting, called “the story of hope” – guess who:

Can’t link it – it’s at:


Raffling a ’97 Triton TR18 TOMORROW, also T-shirt sales. Unborn baby will need surgery.


2. Jason Christie will run an Xpress.


Gitcha tin on!


3. James Worldwide “Web” Watson will run a Charger.


Not sure if this is his rig because it’s a dual console, but here’s what Chargers look like in case you haven’t seen one lately:

He confirmed that a battery charger in a Charger is still called a charger.


4. John Cox says lots of practice leads to burnout.


> “I actually find limited practice is really beneficial. You can easily burn out in practice. I remember years ago fishing some FLW tournaments and you’d practice an entire week before the event. Some guys would be there for weeks. I don’t think that’s very productive for the tournament you’re going to fish….”


Also said:


> “I prefer try to stay as fresh as I can.”


I was like, “How do you do that?” He texted me this:

I said, “Well thank you but for a couple reasons might not be the best idea to have your phone out during such times man….”




5. Is Matt Arey committing a foul here?


Talking about the glasses:

That bait’s a Lunkerhunt Sushi 110 btw….


6. Did Mike Iaconelli get Yoda to test out his Lowrance Active Target?


Looks like it?

Or maybe it’s Grogu?


7. Where’s Luke Palmer?


Dang, shorts weather! That’s a YUM Money Minnow btw — doesn’t get much love but a good bait:

8. What Carl Jocumsen gave up to fish for the basses here.


Got a note from Aussie bass-head Steve M, had some stats from barramundi (a type of fish) tourneys:


> Biggest limit this year was 5 for 166.9 lb.


> 2-day winning weight was 10 for 268.6 lb.


> Biggest barra for the events was just over 72 lb.


Dang! Here’s one:

Steve also said:


> Standard tackle is a 7′ baitcasting rod with 30-40 lb braid with an FG knot to a 50-100 lb leader. Swimbaits and jerkbaits with beefed up terminals and seriously locked drags.


> Not hard to see them on side-image or LiveScope either.


Lol I bet! What up Carl? Your arms get tired down there or what man??


9. Opens required a lot of run/gun.


Good breakdown by Craig Lamb at the Bassin’masters. Most often used in order: cranks, TX rigs, jigs so lots of power:

10. KY: 1 new bass reg and new boat safety requirement.


> Enact a 20″ minimum size limit and a 1 fish daily creel limit on Highsplint Lake in Harlan County. This lake produced the 14-lb 9.5-oz state record largemouth bass in 2019 and since has received heavy fishing pressure.


> …also passed a resolution supporting the amendment of KRS 235.285 to expand the boater education requirement to include all motorized vessel operators born on or after Jan 1, 1975. Resolution also creates a temporary 14-day Boater Education Exemption Certificate contingent on review of boater education material and successful completion of a basic boating law test.


11. NE: Smallie reg changes after Jan 1.


> Big Elk Lake and Portal Lake, Sarpy County reservoirs under construction in 2020, each will have a smallmouth bass daily bag limit of 2 fish and 12″ maximum length limit to protect larger smallmouths and allow harvest of smaller ones.


12. Newest Rapala college bassin’ podcast.


About the Murray State Invitational on Pickwick.


13. T-H Marine giving a ton of stuff away TOMORROW on social.


8 am to 5 pm CT. Here’s their FB and IG is @thmarineteam.


14. Bass Pro Shops bought Sportsman’s Warehouse.


Actually “the Great American Outdoors Group, parent company of Bass Pro Shops, Cabela’s, White River Marine Group [Ranger, Triton, etc] and a collection of nature-based resorts.” Few things that stuck out to me:


– Zero mention of ecomm in the announcement, but sounds like Sportsman’s Warehouse has 111 stores and Bass Pro/Cabela’s has 169.


– Not an M&A expert by a long shot, but these deals typically only make sense if there’s a lot of “efficiencies” (costs, including jobs) to squeeze outta the acquired company and/or lots more stuff to be sold to the acquired company’s customers. Will that be the case here? Was it the case with Cabela’s? Has that been the case with the acquired boat companies? Just throwin’ it out there….


– Acquisition was $18/share in cash – this post says it was $785 mil. Where’s that $$$ coming from?


15. Marine manufacturers congratulated Joe Biden??


Surprised the heck outta me — partly cuz it doesn’t seem like the election is over just yet, partly cuz I’ve heard boat sales go way up when a Republican is President and down when a Democrat is, and partly cuz I know a bunch o’ folks in the bassin’ marine biz who would be surprised as heck by this too but here you go:


> Last week NMMA sent a letter to President-elect Joe Biden congratulating him on his victory and highlighting the recreational boating industry’s importance to the American economy. Additionally, NMMA outlined the industry’s policy priorities for the president-elect’s first 100 days in office and beyond.


> “As a group that represents over 1,300 manufacturers in North America, the recreational boating industry stands ready to support your administration’s top priorities – including the nation’s Covid-19 response, broader economic recovery efforts, investment in sustainable manufacturing and sound environmental practices, and promotion of racial equity.”



Here’s the NMMA board – don’t see any bass tub folks on there. Here’s the staff. They’re all in DC and I can tell you as someone who lived/worked in DC for years, that whole town is pretty insular and doesn’t reflect the reality of our country…in case you didn’t know that already….


16. Yo-Zuri Rattlin Vibe Mini for winter feesh.


Dang I forgot about it! Check ’em here on the TW:


Lookit this!

Making me wonder if most baits should have a combo or orange, chartreuse, purple and white?


18. Check the Berkley Frittside 5 Biggun’.


Dang that shape looks good. Haven’t fished it yet but have heard good things:




Interesting. Doesn’t say it’s Strike King baits only? Looks like it’s a big bass bash-type format, can meet Strike King pros there.


21. New Curado 300 has deeper spool for bigger baits.


22. Gitcha Grinch swimbait!


Pretty cool and funny @kgbswimbaits build:


> Pure Watercraft…closed a total Series A financing of $37.5 mil, including a previously-announced $23.4 mil. The oversubscribed funding round was led by L37, a hybrid venture capital and private equity firm. L37 Managing Partner Randall Ussery will join Pure Watercraft’s board of directors.


Looks like this is L37‘s first outdoor investment. Pure Watercraft site is here.


24. FL veggie treatment updates.


Harris Chain spraying will start in March? (pdf) – Thanks to John M for the tip.


Mechanical veg removal at Istokpoga starting early Jan.


25. TX: Buchanan is “infested” with zebras.


> Infested status signifies that there is an established, reproducing population of zebra mussels in the lake.

Headlines of the Day


Walters never expected to catch so many bass at Lake Fork


So…it was an accident? (heehee!)


Fisherman finds 19 hand grenades in river


In England. Magnetic rod/reel. Pretty sure I woulda stopped at 1.



1. Can you reel a swimbait super slow?


Had a little back/forth text with Z on how he’s catching those ultra-coldwater smallies:


> …3.25″ Rage Swimmer [or similar] on braid to leader. 1/4-oz jighead — SLOW. Exactly how I caught em last week and lake half frozen…they bite early and late.


> Mostly near bottom but key is slow and your rod loads, just reel.


> That’s the only bullet you need — 8-lb long [Seaguar] leader…and it’s fine scooting it right on bottom.


> SLOW long casts — you’ll catch ’em.


Don’t know if I can fish that slow man…but Trait Zaldain can. Here she is (Insta vid) showin’ how she finesse swimbaits with 10-lb Seaguar Tatsu fluoro, which she says is the same diameter as other 8-lb fluoros — click the pic to see the vid:

On the other other hand, seems like normal-crankin’ a Bill Lews MR-6 is ketchin’ ’em in cold IL:

2. How to prep your outboard for winter storage using Sea Foam.


Easy. This vid is before Sea Foam Marine PRO came out — either regular Sea Foam or Marine PRO will work but I am gonna use Marine PRO:

3. New Jewel hoodies.


Well, the folks at Jewel Baits were nice enough to send me this-here sweatshirt:

My phone buzzed and it was my daughter: “So, whose sweatshirt is this – the one that says Jewel on it?” Translation: “I want this sweatshirt.” Told her it was hers, I haven’t gotten to wear it yet, probly won’t…in case y’all need a bassin’ gift for a gal….
On right now… 


Note: The TackleWarehouse links in this email are affiliate links, meaning if you go through them to make a purchase I might earn a commission…at no cost to you. Click here if you want to learn a little more about links in the BB.

Tip of the Day


Casey’s kinda quiet, but let’s not forget he’s a top pro who WON A CLASSIC that was one of the toughest (coldest-water) ones too. So here you go, from an MLFers post:


> …Fluke deep to catch all but 2 of his fish during the 2015 Bassmaster Classic on Lake Hartwell. Facing bone-chilling winds and sub-zero temperatures, he rigged a Fluke Jr on a 3/8-oz horsehead…presenting the rig ever so slowly to bass…as deep as 40’….


> For suspended bass, and…bottom-huggers, Ashley likes to pin a Zoom Super Fluke or Magnum Fluke to a 1/4-oz jighead. …15-lb fluorocarbon line, he works the bait fairly aggressively “almost like stroking a jig.”


> …the topwater presentation he used at the 2011 Bassmaster win…rigs the Fluke TX-style on a 4/0 Mustad offset worm hook and skips it frantically for 10′ or more before letting it twitch and die in the fashion of an injured herring. “Then you kill it…it darts just that one time…He is going to eat it! He just can’t help it!”


Says his main colors are “pearl white,” “disco violet,” “disco green” and “white ice,” and always starts with “pearl white.”

Quote of the Day
“I guarantee you he knows more about Biblical truth (and the) history of different religions than most people in full-time ministry today. He was a brilliant, brilliant man. Other than fishing, this was almost obsessive with him – searching the truth of God’s Word.”


Great quote about Ron Lindner from his brother Al. And if you didn’t know:


> “When Ron speaks to other fishermen about how Jesus Christ saved him from a life of alcoholism, he sometimes mentions being ‘scooped up in the gentle net of God’s grace.’ He might also say, ‘God does not practice catch and release. Instead, He puts us in His livewell of eternal life – forever!'”


I love that! Yes He does! As a guy who didn’t even have a clue Jesus was real til the mid-2000s, I gotta say I’m amazed every day, just like Ron and Al.


Great Ron tribute from the folks at Northland Fishing Tackle here, and also gotta mention I was talking to former Bassmaster pro Mike Auten recently who said something I’d forgotten about: In-Fisherman mag was the first place that showed detailed lake maps – points, humps, weedlines, how fish moved, etc. Amazing to think about – another thing we all take it for granted now.


Shot of the Day
One of the most beautiful launch shots I’ve ever seen — Vexus boats shot of course:



If you have any interest at all in ‘foots or should (Zona), watch or listen this whole deal. Crazy! If you don’t know who the guy telling the story is, he was on 1-2 Survivorman Bigfoot shows (that are now on YT) because of his “Discovering Bigfoot” documentary, which you can find on YT or Netflix. He SHOWS the ‘foots on video – no blurry stuff. Real? No idea but for sure wild.
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Jay Kumar’s BassBlaster is a daily-ish roundup of the best and funniest (sometimes worst) stuff in bassin’, picked by me — Jay Kumar. I started, co-hosted Loudmouth Bass with Zona, was a B.A.S.S. senior writer and a bunch more in bassin’. The Blaster is the #2 daily read on any given day in the wide world o’ bass so thanks for readin’!


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